Nine days after Category 4 Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, the island has barely moved an inch toward recovery. As many still struggle to communicate across the island and to the mainland, there’s also a lack of water, medication, and information. With people on the verge of dying of starvation or infection, supplies sit in a a port in San Juan, according to CNN. Road damage and a lack of truckers have made it impossible to move around the island. The Trump Administration has sent help to the island, but so far it’s proven far insufficient. Today, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who has remained an unwavering voice for her people, made a powerful statement about the lack of urgency.
“I will do what I never thought I was going to do,” she said in a press conference. “I am begging, begging anyone that can hear us to save us from dying. If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency.”
She then pulled out two binders and called out FEMA and Trump by name. “FEMA asks for documentation. I think we’ve given them enough documentation. And they have the gall this morning,” she said, throwing the binders to the floor and briefly interrupting herself. “They have the gall this morning of asking me, ‘What are your priorities, mayor?’ Well, where have you been? And I have been very respectful of the FEMA employees. I have been patient, but we have no time for patience anymore. So I am asking the president of the United States to make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives.”
Her comments come after Trump’s tweet that “food, water, and medical are top priorities – and doing well” and ahead of his scheduled visit to the island.